Tag Archives: medical device content

Medical Device Business “Too Hard”…for Google (?!)

Admitting something is “too hard” isn’t common at Google…but if you go to 28:54 of this video, you’ll hear Sergey Brin and Larry Page explain why medical device/healthcare is one of those areas.

Aside from feeling a little self-satisfied that you’re doing something that’s too difficult for Google, there are other points to consider here. Sure, device regulation is complex and difficult – and sometimes a little capricious and illogical. Still, regulation is meant to protect public health from faulty devices and bad actors – not everyone who makes a medical device puts patient safety first (witness the PIP breast implant scandal).

This is a common refrain from new technology companies: regulation is stifling innovation. The battle between taxicabs and Uber is one example. However, part of the cost of a cab comes from liability insurance – you can sue the cab company if you’re injured – a pedestrian can sue the company if they are struck by a cab…who are you going to sue if you’re struck by an Uber?

Technology companies (and some device companies) see regulation as an unnecessary burden, but many of these regulations are what help keep devices safe and effective. In this respect, a “least burdensome” approach to regulation is desirable – as the inscription above the temple of Delphi read: “Nothing in Excess”

 

 

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What Do Walgreens and Medical Device Content Management Have in Common?

WalgreensAnswer: both employ automation to reduce cost. At Walgreens,  software algorithms are being used to help guide and standardize patient treatment. Based on “big data” from over 100 million patients, the pharmacy chain is proving that professional services can be semi-automated with helpful results. You can read about it here.

A similar scenario is playing out in the medical device industry. Manufacturers are learning that they can automate content by structuring it with XML/DITA. The process requires patience and effort (though easier than developing a software system for patient treatment). However, it yields big savings and risk reduction. Starting with the XML systems provided by  Astoria Software and Vasont Systems, and continuing through the translation process automation technologies of the GlobalLink suite, TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions has the services, know-how, and technologies necessary to automate your content and achieve sustainable cost and risk reduction.

Don’t Get Yanukovych’d

Yanukovych_WEB-readyShortly after Yanukovych was ousted as Ukraine’s President, the Ukrainian Parliament repealed a recent law allowing the use of “regional languages” like Russian.  Language has long been been tied up with issues of nationalism and national identity and can often be something of a “land mine” (not to be indelicate in the current, tense, situation).

If you think that these types of language sensitivities don’t apply to the medical device industry, you’re wrong. On one recent client visit, I heard a story of how the company had sent Russian instructions to a location in Estonia…not realizing the reaction that it might provoke (after the Soviet domination of the Baltic States). The result? Even though an exemption could have been written, the client demanded everything in Estonian and at a significant cost. The moral of the story? Know the political implications of your language choices when doing business abroad.

The Most Popular Post Ever

According to Crimson Audit, Review, & Consulting, in over 4 years, their most popular post (by far) has been this:  Labeling Errors are Leading Cause of Device Recall.

With the growing interest in XML publishing in the medical device industry, this information is now more relevant than ever.  Our Astoria and Vasont divisions provide validated systems for device makers like GE Healthcare, Medtronic, and J&J because these systems can reduce localization costs by 40%…but, as you might guess, this level of savings comes at a cost.

The strength of these systems is that they manage content in a “single source” – there is one version of a content chunk (topic) which is reused in other publications or channels. However, if the content contains an error (in the English source or translated target), that error gets replicated out multiple times – this is a classic “propagation risk” and it has very real implications for labeling accuracy and device recall.

The best solution is also a classic: the quality systems principle of “quality at the source”. For translation, it means that appropriate risk management must be employed to produce XML -based translated content. This not only minimizes propagation risk, it also reduces the risk of device recall due to labeling errors.

Iron Man Offers Lessons for Device Makers in China

Iron Man China

It’s not often we get to point to a comic book character for marketing lessons, but the recent release of Iron Man 3 provides important food for thought for device manufacturers.

China’s movie market is big…and quickly getting bigger. With 10 new screens opening every day and box office revenues rising 30% in 2012, China recently edged out Japan to become the world’s #2 movie market. In fact, China could surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest market within 5 years. So, it’s not surprising that Hollywood took the unusual step of modifying (“localizing” in translation jargon) the content of the movie. What is surprising is the extent of the modification/localization: “Tony [Stark] doesn’t have to do this alone…China can help.” Specific content, filmed with Chinese actors in China, was added in a nod to the importance of local taste.

This narrative might sound familiar to device makers. According to PharmaLive, China is expected to pass Japan as the world’s #2 medical device market between 2018 and 2020 and represent 25% of the world market by 2050. And, just like in the movies, China is demanding more localized content – especially for device marketing.

Our Crimson division has been very active in dealing with the challenges of translating device marketing content – you can read an informative post here: http://crimsonlanguage.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/something-fishy-about-device-marketing-translation/

Sometimes, however, manufacturers may want to opt out of the traditional “translation” paradigm. Instead of the endless back-end-forth with reviewers, manufacturers might instead consider producing content in-country that is custom-developed for the local market. Not translated, but created locally. Call this the “Iron Man” strategy.

More costly than simple translation or localization, the Iron Man strategy requires a strong relationship with a local advertising agency. It also requires back-translation of the finished piece in order to assure requisite corporate control. This can be facilitated by technology tools like the GlobalLink Translation & Review Portal.

Whether you’re interested in translation, localization, or the go-local, Iron Man strategy, EnCompass has tools and strategies to get you to success.

Blood Makes Noise: The Theme Song

On the surface, Suzanne Vega’s Blood Makes Noise might seem like an unusual choice as background music for a medical device blog. After all, it describes a panic attack.

However, as anyone will tell you (with 20+ years experience) in medical device content development and content management (including regulatory, labeling,  and marketing) an occasional sense of panic is not-so-very out of the ordinary.  Uncontrolled content has that effect – especially if it prompts a significant recall, derails a key project, jeorpardizes product compliance, or requires destruction of printed materials.

If you’ve ever felt even a little anxious about the cost or complexity of medical device content, you’ll identify with Suzanne’s perspective:

Original version [20-year-old video is dated]: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6qvIhygLTs 

Alt version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvM430UcW-I

House version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuZm8U7Bkrc

Organized and structured content, supported by best processes and ready for automation, that’s the EnCompass perscription.

The Official Blog of EnCompass Content Management & Automation Services

Blood Makes Noise is the official blog of

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EnCompass: content management and automation services for medical device manufacturers.

And, we are pleased to add, one of a limited number of blogs with it’s own theme music:

https://bloodmakesnoiseblog.com/2013/04/07/blood-makes-noise-the-soundtrack/